29 November 2006


High Level Jordan Conference to Review First Year of United Nations Convention Against Corruption

VIENNA, 29 November 2006 (UN Information Service) -- Countries which ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption will hold a high-level meeting in Jordan from 10 to 14 December 2006 to review its first year in force and consider ways of stepping up international efforts to fight corruption.

The Convention, which came into force on 14 December 2005, is the first legally binding international anti-corruption instrument.  So far, 140 States have signed the Convention and 80 have ratified it to become full-fledged States Parties. Turkey and the Philippines were the latest countries to come on board.

Corruption is one of the main obstacles to peace, stability, sustainable development, democracy and human rights around the globe. No country is immune to its effects.

Every year, according to World Bank estimates, over $1 trillion is paid in bribes, with devastating consequences, particularly in the developing world. Corruption diverts resources for health, education and infrastructure away from those who need it most.

The Convention addresses corruption in both the public and private sectors. It requires countries to criminalize a wide range of acts including bribery, embezzlement of public funds, money-laundering and obstruction of justice.

The Jordan Conference will focus on three key issues: monitoring compliance with the Convention, asset recovery, and technical assistance to build national capacity to combat corruption.

Monitoring how the Convention is implemented is key to translating its principles into practice.  The Convention's tough new provisions on asset recovery are aimed at ensuring that the vast sums of money lost to corruption are traced, confiscated and returned to their countries of origin.

Technical assistance is the cornerstone of efforts by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime - the custodian of the Convention - to contribute to the global fight against corruption. It is aimed at ensuring that police, prosecutors and judges are equipped with the appropriate tools. 

Other issues at the conference will include embezzlement, laundering of the proceeds of crime, obstruction of justice and mutual legal assistance between countries in gathering evidence for use in trials and extradition proceedings. 

The Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption will take place at the King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Centre on the Dead Sea from 10 to 14 December 2006.

It will be opened by His Majesty King Abdullah II of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and attended by ministers, policy-makers, practitioners and representatives of civil society and the private sector. Up to 800 participants are expected.

All plenary meetings and side events will be open to the media.

Note: Journalists should contact the Jordanian media focal point,  Issa Abu Sair, to provide exact details of any equipment they may wish to take with them as certain types of equipment are not permitted in Jordan or require special permission from the Jordanian authorities.

Mr. Abu Sair can be reached at +962 777 29788 or by e-mail at pressoffice@jic.jo

For more details on the conference, go to: http://www.unodc.org/unodc/caccosp_2006.html

For general information, please contact:

Preeta Bannerjee
Public Information Officer, UNODC
Tel: +43 126060 5764
Mobile: +43 699 1459 5764
Email: preeta.bannerjee@unodc.org

For media accreditation, please contact:

Ms. Veronika Crowe-Mayerhofer
Public Information Assistant
United Nations Information Service, Vienna
Tel : +43 1 26060 3342
Email: Veronica.crowe-mayerhofer@unvienna.org